IIn measures aimed at reducing the numbers of students entering the UK under tier 4 of the points based system, the new extended Student Visitor Visa (ESVV) came into effect on 10 January 2011. This new temporary measure, which is available only to English language students, means that they can study in the UK for 11 months at any proficiency level. Under tier 4 they may only study English language courses at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or above and the students must demonstrate a proficiency at level B1 CEFR or above.
Students must return home at the end of their course but they can apply for a General Student Visa (GSV) to enrol on a tier 4 course if they wish to return to the UK in order to continue their studies.
Students who require an ESVV (including non-visa nationals) must apply in their own country, showing that they have enrolled on a course lasting up to 11 months. They cannot work, bring dependants, switch to another visa type or extend their stay. The extended SVV will be implemented on a pilot basis initially and will be reviewed within the next 12 months.